I’ve found myself caught in these strange loops in the last few years where I’m simultaneously horrified at the way politics is unfolding in my country around me, but unable to do all that much about it. I vote, and I discuss with relatives and friends, but I am always aware that such actions are really the baseline for political impact. I have an awareness of the fact that inaction and apathy will only leave me in less control of my situation, however, participation in the gnashing madness of politics is a scourge on one’s mental state.
I find it unfortunate that the current state of living gives me a feeling of “fucked if I do, fucked if I don’t.” There’s no room to breathe, it seems. At the very least, I perceive it as so. I only wish that there was some kind of guarantee of at least the basics of wellness, but there isn’t, not for me and mine. I have to live in a country where, even in one of the most progressive states in the nation, I have to fear that the people I care about (myself included) may lose their healthcare or their right to participate in public life safely. I find it remarkably hard to rest easily with such fears hovering over me. Yet to attempt to participate in politics at the moment is an incredible undertaking. The sheer scale of politics, and the barriers to entry, are seemingly impassable. They are far greater challenges than I can responsibly undertake given my rough last few years on a health level.
Furthermore, I truly have no desire to devote my life to politics. I want to write, create, take care of my family and friends. Yet it seems that at the moment there are so few I can trust to have my back as a human being. Those who I would trust are, at the moment, so far from being able to take office so as to be almost a pipe dream. I am lucky, at least, that I have some trust in my local politicians, but I also recognize that my local politicians will be hamstringed if the federal government has its way. And the biggest loser will be those of us who are already struggling.
Politics is draining. It is, in many ways, hollow and shallow, lacking in everything that I cherish. And yet it is so essential. Frameworks for a healthy society have to be made, and if good people don’t step up then we will be left with the sociopathic, self-serving Gingrichs and Trumps and McConnells. The poor and the sick can’t fight for themselves when money is a prerequisite to political influence. Something has to change. But I don’t quite know what yet.